Justices Strike Down Louisiana Abortion Law, Give President Firing Power Over CFPB Director
June 29, 2020
Today the Supreme Court blocked a Louisiana law requiring doctors performing abortions to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals. The law was essentially identical to one from Texas that the Supreme Court struck down in 2016, and the only real difference this time around was that PRESIDENT TRUMP’S appointees — JUSTICES NEIL GORSUCH and BRETT KAVANAUGH — were now on the bench to weigh in. They voted as expected, siding with other conservatives on the bench to roll back a woman’s right to an abortion. But CHIEF JUSTICE JOHN ROBERTS sided with the court’s four liberal justices to strike down the Louisiana law. He noted in his concurring opinion that precedent required the Louisiana law be voted down writing, “The Louisiana law imposes a burden on access to abortion just as severe as that imposed by the Texas law, for the same reasons. Therefore Louisiana’s law cannot stand under our precedents.”
SCOTUS also ruled today that the president can fire the head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau without cause, rejecting a federal law that placed limits on presidential oversight of independent agencies. The outcome is a big win for the conservative movement. Justices ruled 5-4 with all five conservative-leaning justices opting to give the president firing power.
Nina Totenberg with NPR reports on the Supreme Court’s decision today regarding the CFPB and she notes that while the outcome was a victory for PRESIDENT TRUMP and the business community that has long wanted to “trim the sails” of independent regulatory agencies, SCOTUS didn’t go as far as challengers had wanted, limiting the decision to the single-director structure of the CFPB. “There are, of course, other federal regulatory agencies with a single director, including the Social Security Administration. And it was not entirely clear from the decision whether the independence of these other single-director agencies could now be thrown in doubt as well. Nor was it clear whether the decision really is limited to just the CFPB and possibly a couple of other single-director agencies, or whether Monday’s decision is a first step by the court’s conservative majority in a crusade to strip a vast array of agencies of their independence and make them subservient to the president.”
The Supreme Court’s third opinion today upheld a requirement that foreign organizations must have policies opposing prostitution and sex trafficking in order to receive funding from the U.S. government. Justices split 5-3 with JUSTICE ELENA KAGAN recused herself from the case.
BACK IN THE KILLING BUSINESS|
The Supreme Court has cleared the way for PRESIDENT TRUMP to resume federal executions for the first time in 17 years. Justices denied a challenge from four convicted murderers who argued federal executions must adhere to the specific protocols used by states. JUSTICES RUTH BADER GINSBURG and SONIA SOTOMAYOR said they would have heard the challenge.
A FRUSTRATING FEW MONTHS|
“When the Supreme Court term began last fall, judicial conservatives were hoping that the court’s strong 5-4 majority, bolstered by two of PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP’S nominees, would deliver a clean sweep for conservatives on hot button issues. Instead, with 13 cases remaining, the court in recent weeks has blocked Trump’s efforts to terminate DACA, issued a landmark opinion in favor of LGBTQ rights and left court watchers wondering what’s next. JUSTICE SAMUEL ALITO dissented in both cases. Although Alito penned a victory for the government in an immigration case last week, and he may deliver wins for the right in other areas such as religious liberty before the term is over, his unhappiness with the court’s direction has been palpable.” Ariane de Vogue with CNN reports on Justice Alito refusing to be shy in expressing his frustration with the court’s recent decisions.